Argentina’s Ministry of Health has held up a red card for all devices used as substitutes for traditional tobacco products. Back in 2011, the national regulator, the ANMAT, had said no to the import, commercialisation and advertising of electronic cigarettes. Now the national government has issued a measure against heated tobacco products.

The new generation of heated tobacco devices, which belong to two major tobacco companies, has received an official thumbs down in Argentina. The national government has stepped in to reinforce guidelines adopted in 2011, which prohibited the import, marketing and advertising of electronic cigarettes

Resolution 565, which bears the signature of health minister Carla Vizzotti, takes the same stance on heated tobacco products (HTPs), which are marketed as a replacement for traditional cigarettes. The document mentions the results of independent research that shows the products produce aerosols containing nicotine and other potentially harmful chemicals. See resolution 565 in Spanish.

The resolution adds that there is evidence that «novelty products such as HTPs and the like are especially attractive for children and adolescents”, and that their market introduction would «have the potential to cause young people and non-smoking adults» to begin smoking. It mentions that both the OMS and the FDA have expressed concerns about the «rapid expansion of consumption of these new products among middle school students in various countries«.

Heated tobacco products (HTP) are manufactured by the tobacco giants British American Tobacco (BAT) whose portfolio includes the brands Believe and Neocore, and Philip Morris, which markets IQOS. Both Neocore and IQOS have FDA approval. BAT had already been drumming up publicity in Argentina in preparation for a launch, including inviting journalists to Europe to learn about its technologies and products. See article on PM strategy in Spanish // See article on IQOS in Spanish.

Argentina’s food and drugs regulator, the ANMAT, prohibited electronic cigarettes in 2011 under provision 3226/2011. The difference between the products is that electronic cigarettes, do not contain tobacco but a liquid formulation that may or may not include nicotine, which creates a vapour that can be inhaled, known as vaping). On the other hand, HTPs do contain tobacco, which is heated to generate an aerosol that the user inhales. See article on prohibition by the ANMAT in Spanish.

Elsewhere in the region, Mexico’s COFEPRIS last year issued a statement on both types of products. It said that while electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products are promoted as an option to help quit smoking, their “effectiveness has not been proven». It clarified that «no vaper or tobacco heater has sanitary authorisation or recognition from the Health Secretary as a product with reduced or alternative risk«. See article on COFEPRIS alert in Spanish.

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